2014 is a really nice, even great, year for me bcause:
1. I haven't written this but in December 2013, I watched Netrebko and Domingo live in Il Trovatore in Staatsoper Berlin. SUPERB! I also spent my new year's eve in Dresden watching Renee Fleming and Klaus Florian Vogt with Thielemann and Staatskapelle Dresden.
2. I went to Baden-Baden during Easter Festival once again to watch "Manon Lescaut" directed by Sir Richard Eyre and Sol Gabetta playing Elgar's Cello Concerto. Dream came true!
3. In summer I went to Bayreuth to watch Tannhaeuser. A half price ticket I luckily bought at ebay brought me the greatest joy this year. The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth is definitely magical. the acoustic is warm and dry. I have never heard Wagner sound so intimate, yet so grand. The fact that I got to catch the Baumgarten's "terrible technocrat" production in its final year run is a bonus.
4. The following days, I was in Salzburg. I watched Schubert's "Fierrabras" in a production by Peter Stein. An old-fashioned 70's production in black & white fairy tale deco with superb cast under Ingo Metzmacher. Plus a chamber concert with Lisa Batiashvilli and a song recital with Diana Damarau and Xavier de Maistre on harp (!). All for 68 Euro. First class seats. Slap me on da face.
5. I also managed to watch a concert in Lucerne during its summer festival. Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra under Simon Rattle performed Berio's "Choro" and the world premiere (!) of Chin's "Le Silence du Sirene" with soloist Barbara Hannigan (!).
5. The opera productions in Berlin are also really good too. Festtage's "Tannhaeuser" under Sasha Waltz direction is rather unfit with modern dance attached to it, but somehow it still lingers in the back on my head until today. A new production of Tosca under Alvis Hermanis is really a sweet opener to the new season, with great singers like Anja Kampe & Michael Volle under the baton of Barenboim. Kupfer's "Tristan & Isolde" is rather simple but Waltraud Meier blew my mind!!! Chereau's "From The House of The Dead" by Janacek under Simon Rattle is yet another strong production and reminds why Staatsoper is indeed my most favorite opera house in Berlin.
6. And my love, Berliner Philharmoniker. Dear, dear love.
So many things I still want to write but I'd rather keep my excitement for what's coming: Parsifal during Festtage and of course: Salzburg Festival 2015!!!